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OSRA considers Gender, anti harmful traditional practices (HTPs) such as female genital mutilation, early marriage, abduction etc, and HIV/ AIDS as crossing cutting issues across all its programs and projects.
Besides mainstreaming in all its programs, OSRA has rich experience in designing and implementing projects solely addressing the issues of gender inequality and harmful traditional practices that endanger the health of women and girls. Gender inequality specifically in the operation areas of OSRA is pervasive where women suffer from economic poverty, social discrimination, political disenfranchisement, and cultural subjugation. Such inequality emanated from the traditional norms and values adhered by the majority of the rural community.
Notwithstanding legal provisions, titles to land are customarily vested in men, which is a fundamental source of vulnerability for rural women who live in agrarian settings. In all the proposed intervention communities women have much less access to health facilities, and agricultural extension services. Even when women have access to better credit services, the ultimate decision makers on the loan received become men—husband.
In addition, women/young girls are exposed to different harmful traditional practices including, female genital mutilation, under age marriage and abduction that affect negatively their physical and psychological conditions.Legal and other measures to overcome these inequalities and discriminatory practices between men and women that constitute gross violation of women's human rights must be accompanied by efforts to raise awareness about culturally based attitudes towards women. Thus, massive awareness creation on constraints and challenges facing rural women and sensitization of the communities on the role of women in development is the main concern of OSRA’s intervention.
The overall objective is to ensure increased women’s participation in development activities through increased respect and protection of women’s worth and dignity and alleviating harmful traditional practices in the target areas. OSRA adopted a strategy whereby all relevant stakeholders including the religious and traditional leaders, community based organizations, elders, local officials, schools, people who are victims of HTPs, and community members from all segments of the community etc actively involved in community conversations at different levels regarding these issues.